Monday, November 24, 2014

15 Years of Us

Today is mine and Terrell's 15th anniversary. 15 years ago today I was visiting Terrell before his family got ready to go out of town for Thanksgiving and we were watching TV and talking and "hanging out" before hanging out was called hanging out. Ha.

And something happened that day that had never happened before. Something that changed everything. For the better! He kissed me!! (Finally I might add!) And best friends became sweethearts. Young and in love and all dreamy-eyed. We were still best friends just like before but we were also smitten and head over heels for each other and knew God had brought us together for always. We knew then we'd get married one day. Such an amazing and exciting feeling!

And I was 16 and he was 18. Cuh-raaaazy! But true.

We were committed to each other from that point forward and shared lots of up and downs and challenges and wonderful, exciting, special, fun times and memories together. We grew up together. We experienced college together... separately... through a long distnace relationship. Twice. We started our careers together. We moved away together. We matured together. We faced everything new together.

From this...
 
To this....
 
To this...
 
High school, college, multiple jobs, 3 towns, 4 homes, 3 boys, and 15 years worth of memories later. God continues to bless our story day after day, year after year.
 
Happy 15th anniversary to my love. My best friend today just like all those years ago. I love sharing my everyday with you. Even the messy, crazy, not so fun ones! So thankful God gave me you and so excited to see our story continue to unfold. 15 years of us so far has been a blast!!
 
***If you have time on your hands and would like to read the details of how God brought us together and what the early years were like for us I wrote about it here and here. Part 1 and Part 2... to be continued of course. =)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Break is Here!

We made it to Thanksgiving Break! Woohoo! I had my doubts earlier in the week when things were falling apart (it seemed) and Terrell was out of town, but we made it! Yay! I find myself super worn out on this Friday morning (is it still morning?) due to multiple reasons. First of all, Layton Selph had a horrible night last night and we experienced what we feel like may very well have been our first ever true all-nighter. YAWN. Plus I've been working everyday this week for the first time ever since I started my new "job", plus I'm just tired from Terrell being gone half the week and run ragged pulling double duty.

But, the good news is that we made it to the break and are soooo excited about a week off, celebrating Thanksgiving, getting our Christmas tree and decorating the house, extra time with Garrison and daddy at home, and hopefully extra rest. Yay, yay, yay. =)

Here are my favorite moments from this week...

*Monday morning before Terrell got on the road he played one of Austin's favorite card games with him. Love these 2 more than they know!

*He really is the best baby brother! We are all smitten over him. Still. =)

*Garrison's soccer banquet was super fun and lively. He was especially proud of his trophy. That's like the biggest deal ever at the end of the season. Thanks AnAn for going with me and being my wing-man in Terrell's absence!

*Austin and I made this fun alphabet matching turkey and spelled Selph since that's what we're currently working on. I think he's just about got the spelling of his last name mastered.
 
*Brothers working hard and raking leaves and loving every second of it. They were so proud of their big pile. And I was so thankful we could go outside and play for the first time all week!
*Enjoying our first Christmas decoration! A special carousel that actually goes and plays instrumental Christmas carols. This is a favorite for my boys and I love seeing their faces watching it every year.

*Favorite not pictured moment: Terrell getting home a day early! Praise the Lord!!

I'm looking forward to a fun weekend catching up with some of my favorite friends and hanging out with all my guys. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

9 Months Old

My sweet baby boy turned 9 months old last Wednesday. I can't believe we're this close to his 1st birthday! This month has been a super fun one with Layton. One of my favorite ever. =) I'm so glad I savored every little milestone and change and lovable moment. He's been the cutest, happiest, busiest little man and I have loved sharing my days with him and watching him learn and grow so much this month!

9 Month Monkey Pics... 
 
Still fascinated with his monkey...

 
Garrison at 9 months...
 
Austin at 9 months...
 
9 Months Stats & Happenings...
 
*You weigh 16 pounds 5 ounces and are 26.5 inches long. Your pediatrician was thrilled with your weight gain... and that your percentile doubled. You're in the 5th now for weight and the 2nd for length. =) Right now, you're just our little guy. And as long as you're healthy that's perfectly fine with us. 
 
*You are still wearing size 3 diapers and mostly 9 months and 12 months clothes. You've actually outgrown some of your 6-12 months outfits... so we know you're growing! Slowly but surely!
 
*This month you had 2 teeth on the bottom come through! So far we haven't seen signs of anymore but we are loving your adorable little 2-teeth grin.
 
*You still LOVE to eat. Your appetite is huge and you would just eat and eat and eat if we let you. This month we added more formula bottles (3 bottles of 5-6 ounces) and right now you're only nursing once a day first thing in the morning. We'll see how much longer that lasts, but I'm so thankful we made it to 9 months (a personal goal I had) before switching to almost all formula.
 
*You decided to start drinking from a sippy cup at almost every meal this month. We are so proud you finally got the hang of it!
 
*This month you finally decided to start sitting up regularly! You just weren't very interested before but now you're a pro. Yay!
 
*You also became full blown, wide open, super fast, mobile this month! You can army crawl on your belly using your arms and elbows at record speeds. You remind me so much of Austin because he did the same exact crawl. My days have gotten a lot busier!
 
*You are talking more and more. The most common thing you say is "da-da" although you've never said that to daddy so we're not sure if that's who/what you're talking about or not.
 
*This month you started sleeping through the night consistently again. Yes! You go to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 every night and wake up around 7:00 every morning. You've even started preferring us to lay you down awake. I still read to you and rock you for a few minutes before every nap and bedtime but then you're ready for me to put you down. You are really enjoying me singing to you too while I rock you... which I think is pretty special. =)
 
*Your naps are slowly getting back on track. Your morning nap is still shorter than I'd like it to be... only around an hour, but your afternoon nap is closer to 2 hours so I'm thankful for that. Good sleep equals a happy baby so I'm determined to figure out these naptime issues.
 
*You are still very curious about what your big brothers are up to and very entertained by them. And they are really good with you. They sing to you when you're crying in the car, they alert me when you're trying to get in the dog food, they hug and kiss you often, and they love to make you laugh!
 
*You are one loved little man and we are so thankful God blessed our family with you! Happy Birthday to our sweet Layton Thomas!!
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Bliss

We had the best weekend. One of my favorites for sure. It wasn't the most exciting or the most fun-filled or the most glamorous ever, it was just good and happy and special...in the most normal way. Kind of like all of last week. I loved it. Unfortunately it made Sunday night and Monday morning a little tough and emotional, but for now I'm working on a positive attitude and smiling at the memories made from this weekend.

I'll start with Friday afternoon. The kick-off to our weekend of bliss.

Friday afternoon I woke the littles up from naptime and we went straight to pick up Garrison from school. (Now that I'm keeping babies I only get to pick him up once or twice a week so it's something I really look forward to.) From school we went straight to my parents' house so I could drop off all 3 of the boys with Papa. (Brave Papa.) From there I went to my afternoon hair appointment and enjoyed myself very much. =) Then, I met Terrell at home and we got ready for our date night. Yay! Once Terrell knew I'd need a sitter Friday afternoon for my hair appointment he decided to ask me out on a date for Friday night. Oh how I love him! And living back in the hometown where date nights are more possible and more of a regular thing! We stayed local and went out too eat and then went grocery shopping. Ha! It's the little things. After that we picked up our babies from Granna and Papa's house where they enjoyed pizza, popcorn, and a movie. Such a fun night for the whole fam!

Saturday we slept as late as the boys would let us. SO nice. Then the big boys played together in their room most of the morning. SO nice again. Then we all took our time getting ready for a day of shopping. We mainly shopped for items to fill our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. It was hectic and crazy keeping up with 3 little men in multiple stores but so fun and special too. We ate out for lunch and were able to shop for a few things we needed also. And as soon as we got back home, the boys filled up their shoeboxes with the goodies we bought and we prayed for those special little boys who will receive them. One who is 3 just like Austin and one who is 5 and a half just like Garrison. =)
Saturday night we stayed home and Terrell grilled our supper... possibly our last time to grill this year since the temperatures are dropping and the days are so short. Brrrr. Then we got the boys in their cute matching Christmas pjs (thanks Granna!) and in the bed at a decent time so we could watch the UGA game. Of course we were thrilled with our win over the Tigers! It was a fun game to watch... til I fell asleep in the 3rd quarter. Ha. Terrell gave me the full recap Sunday morning.
 
Sunday was a lazy day... church (after all 3 boys slept late), take-out, naps for the whole fam, laundry, playing and getting along (such a blessing!), and breakfast for supper. It was a great day. Until I let the Sunday blues get me down. But hanging out with my hubby and watching one of our favorite shows together cheered me up.
 
It's the little things for sure. Brothers playing SO well together all weekend. A hair appointment. Going out to eat and buying groceries with my favorite person. Shopping craziness with my 4 guys. A great football game. The blessing of an amazing church home. Sunday afternoon naps. Watching a show with my hubby. These are the simple, little but big, things that made my weekend. I even teared up Saturday night totally out of the blue because I was overwhelmed at my blessings. My life. I am so grateful for God's grace and goodness.
 
This morning was hard. Garrison woke up crying and not wanting to go to school. (Break my heart.) I was disappointed I couldn't take him to school. Terrell had to go out of town again. I was still a little caught up in my pity party. It was just a Monday morning I guess. But, despite the blues trying to get me down, I'm grateful I'm home on this nasty day. I'm thankful my littles are here with me. I'm thankful for my job that allows me to be home. I'm thankful for help while Terrell is out of town. And I'm especially thankful for Terrell's good news today... he gets to come home a day earlier than expected! Yay!!! I am sooooo thankful for this!
 
After my weekend bliss and Sunday night/Monday morning blues, it's a happy Monday after all. =) 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Favorites: Normal is Good

We had a very normal, uneventful, laid back week. Woohoo! Yay for normal! Yay for being home in the evenings! Yay for daddy being home almost every single night with us! Yay for boring (or at least our wehave3boys version of boring)! Yay for this week!

Haha. It's been a good one. We are thankful the soccer season is over. We are thankful daddy got to be home with us lots this week. We are thankful the holiday season is here. We just had a really really normal, good week. And I think I loved every minute of it. Here are my faves...

*Last weekend we were finally able to celebrate my dad's birthday with him. Singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles is always fun and exciting and a very big deal to my boys. We had a great time at Papa's party. =)

*We are soo thankful daddy got to spend almost every evening this week at home with us. My big boys took advantage of the good weather and daddy being home and got in some baseball practice.

*Austin and I were a little slack with school this week but the one thing we did do was really fun. We made a shape turkey together with our dot markers. An octogon and rhombus were introduced and we were able to make a really cute and colorful turkey. The biggest "educational" thing we did this week was read lots of Thanksgiving books. (Thank you 2nd grade teaching days for the good stash.) Speaking of Thanksgiving...I'm super thankful all my boys love to be read to. =)
*This little man turned 9 months old this week and recently decided to start sitting up lots. Yay Layton!
*First time ever in matching pjs! Cutest, most adorable, most precious matching brothers ever! Thanks Granna!!

*Rocking my littlest before naptime and bedtime has been some of the sweetest parts of my days. Oh how thankful I am to experience it daily. I don't take for granted the blessing of being home with my babies.

*The view from our front yard has been especially pretty this week. The leaves are finally starting to change here and it turns out life in the country (and the rental house) does have it's occasional benefits. =)

*Brothers racing hotwheels... for almost an hour straight... with no fighting or drama or issues. Yes! When they aren't fighting they really are best buds and THE best playmates. There is just about nothing more special than the bond and friendship between siblings.
*Favorite not pictured moments... Garrison wrapped up his soccer season last Saturday morning by scoring the first goal of the game and the last goal of the game/season. So fun! I loved watching him play.

*And spending time with my hubby this week hanging out, watching our favorite shows together, and making Christmas lists was just the best! He's been away a lot this Fall (and is leaving again next week) so all of our time together feels extra special.

Now we're looking forward to a pretty normal but fun weekend that kicks off tonight! Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is officially upon us. Yay! I know most people don't consider it "The Holidays" until Thanksgiving gets here, but I start declaring it The Most Wonderful Time of the Year as soon as we get into November good. =) After November arrives we start our Thanksgiving Projects, we get busy working on Christmas lists for the boys and ourselves, we purge and clean out to make room for decorations and new things, we finalize our holiday plans, we start shopping, and we start to decorate. So fun!

And this year is oh so special because we're back home. This is the first time in our 9 plus years of marriage we won't have to travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The first year we get to sleep in our own beds Christmas Eve and wake up in our own home on Christmas morning. The first year our babies get to experience the entire holiday season at home and with their grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles just a few minutes away. The first year we won't spend half the holidays packing and riding in the car and sleeping at our parents' houses. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!

I can't even explain the joy and relief and gratitude we feel over being home for the holidays. We always believed deep down this day, this season would come, but there were also lots and lots of doubts and discouragement and pouting along the way.

Every single year it was an issue for us. The traveling. The packing. The dividing our time between 2 houses... neither of them being our own. The kids and what was best for them. We'd stress. We'd get overwhelmed. We'd argue. We'd complain. But every year we made it work. We knew we wanted to be with our families. We knew we wanted to continue traditions and spend the season with our favorite, most important people. And since we're from the same hometown that meant both of our families. And honestly we wouldn't have it any other way. Because every year we were blessed to spend the holidays with both our families and every year turned out to be fun and exciting and special. Wonderful memories were made. Some of the best memories. Memories I'm so thankful to have recorded here.

But it was hard. It was stressful and draining leading up to the holidays. (Then it was the most fun ever during the holidays.) Then it was just plain exhausting after the holidays. To sum it up, it was a lot. A lot to figure out and work out and make happen and fit in and do. And every year we'd wonder if we'd have to do it again. We'd wonder if we'd be able to find the energy and enthusiasm to do it again. We hoped we might not have to travel the next year. We prayed it'd be possible for Terrell to have a new job and for us to be living back in the hometown. Every year we hoped and prayed and wondered.

And now here we are.

HERE WE ARE!!!

Our first holiday season back in the hometown where we've yearned to be for years. It's here and it's happening! Since that very first holiday season "away" back in 2005 in that lonely country subdivision in Gainesville, Georgia... where the first ache and longing began...9 years later and here we are. So crazy. Ha! I am amazed and overwhelemd at God's goodness and faithfulness to our family. His grace continues to overflow during this "transition" year as He's provided us with everything we've needed. (You know the list... the job, moving before selling our house, Garrison starting K here, the rental house, ...) We are so blessed and so thankful.

But with any first, with anything new, there is change.

While we are thrilled and excited and overjoyed about being home for the holidays, this is our first year ever to truly be "home for the holidays". Which means change is most definitely happening. And change isn't always easy. For one thing, spending the holidays in this particular house won't be easy and perfect... there's no room for a big tree, no room for even half of our decorations, there's not even a place to hang the stockings. I know none of these things are what Christmas is really all about. They aren't the reason for the season or why we celebrate. But they are special and fun and things we enjoy, so doing without will be a bummer.

Then there's the fact that some of our traditions will change because we won't be spending the night with our parents and waking up in their homes. And that's sort of bittersweet. We're so thankful to start and experience our own special holiday traditions as a family of 5 but we'll also really miss all the fun and special moments and traditions that can only happen when you're sleeping under the same roof as your parents and siblings. Sigh.

Even though we're in a tiny, old house this Christmas, and even though we won't be spending the night in our parents' homes like we always have before, we know this holiday season will be more special and stress-free and family-centered than ever before. We know what a blessing it is to be living here. We know how nice and wonderful it will be to not have to pack and travel. To truly focus on our family and celebrating the holidays without those things being a burden to us. We also know we'll figure out new traditions and ways of celebrating the holidays with our families that will be just as meaningful and fun as before. And we can't wait to experience it all here at home. We are sooo thankful to be home for the holidays and to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year... here! Let the festivities and fun and celebrating begin!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Favorites: Way Outnumbered

Terrell was out of town this week for work so I was pulling double duty... and even triple and quadruple duty. Whew. It was a whirlwind of a week! I had my 2 extra babies I keep here Monday through Wednesday, plus 2 out of 3 of my own children who are with me all day everyday, plus all 3 of my own children during non-school hours... so if you do the math for 3 days in a row there was a small window of time in which my house was overflowing with 5 children 5 and under. Is your head spinning? Because mine was. Gracious. 

Thankfully I had lots of help from my parents... my mom cooked for us Monday night, helped get the boys ready in the mornings and took Garrison to school and picked him up for me, plus my parents took the big boys to soccer practice for me on Tuesday night and helped with bathtime Then we arranged for Terrell's dad to take Austin to story time at the library on Tuesday and then out to lunch. It's not easy being surrounded by babies all the time so this was a fun little outing for him. Then Terrell's mom picked the big boys up for choir on Wednesday to help me out. I seriously would not have been able to make it without all the extra help I had. My mom definitely went above and beyond to make sure I got through the week. I am blessed, blessed, blessed!

So I had moments of being TOTALLY overwhelmed and moments of handling it all with grace and strength... I didn't photograph many moments this week (because the majority of them included me being overwhelmed), but here are the ones I made sure to capture...

*We put together Layton's new toy! This belongs to my sister-in-law and both of her girls used it and all of my boys have used it. It is always a big hit for my babies! This was the first time we put Layton in it so he was really checking things out. Now he gets in it and just jumps and bounces away. =)
*Monday morning Terrell took Garrison to school for me and then came home and spent some time with Austin playing card games before he got on the road. Austin loved having that extra time with daddy before his trip and I loved having daddy here with us for an extra hour or 2 on a Monday morning!

*This week Austin and I did some Halloween candy school activities while the babies took their morning naps. We did this fine motor candy corn craft (cutting, "scrunching", and gluing tissue paper) and then we ate some candy corn. =)

*Tuesday night while the big boys were at soccer Layton and I enjoyed another quiet evening together. Love extra quality time with my littlest!!

*Austin and I also did some Halloween candy math... counting, sorting, ordering, patterns, etc. Finishing the candy patterns I started was his favorite. Then he got to pick one to eat after we finished our school time. Of course. Yum!

*Thursday afternoon... Daddy's home! Daddy's home! DADDY'S HOME!!!! Oh how we missed him!! I'm not sure who was more excited to see him... me or the boys! Terrell Selph is loved and appreciated more than he knows!

This morning we woke up to a not so good surprise... at all. Our biggest boy woke up during the wee hours this morning sick. Yuck. Thankfully it seems it MAY be behind us. Today I'm hanging out at home with all 3 of my little men trying to keep our hands washed and everything sanitized so *hopefully* nobody else gets it. Here's to a fun and healthy weekend!

Happy Friday!!